March 22, 2017
Exploring Borough Market | London, England

Exploring Borough Market | London, England

March 22, 2017

What can I say about Borough Market that hasn't already been said? Borough Market is one of the largest and oldest food markets in London and it's pure heaven for foodies, bloggers, and travelers alike. It currently sits on the southern end of London Bridge in the London Borough of Southwark. It's not hard to get to and is close to a bunch of attractions like The Shard, Tate Modern, and Shakespeare's Globe Theatre to name a few.

While Lyndon and I were in London, we decided to have lunch at Borough Market after exploring the Tower of London in the morning. It was a Saturday, and it was crowded. We walked across London Bridge and took the stairs next to Southwark Cathedral down to the market. Bad idea. Everyone that came across London Bridge did the same thing and it was insanely crowded. People were trying to get into the market, people were trying to leave the market all in between tables of people and people in line ordering food. If you're coming across London Bridge, I would recommend taking the stairs down to Montague Close which turns into Cathedral Street and entering the market that way. It might still be crowded but at least it won't be as narrow as the way we came in.

After pushing our way in, we were greeted with everything I hoped Borough Market would be. The smells that filled the air were amazing and visually, it was just as appealing. We honestly couldn't make up our minds on what to eat; everything looked delicious. We finally decided on splitting a lamb burger, Scotch egg, and sausage roll and some Turkish delights and baklava for dessert. Everything was fantastic and worth fighting the crowds for (and also worth all the calories as well).


THE RUNDOWN:

Borough Market
8 Southwark Street
London
SE1 1TL

The full market is open Wednesday to Saturday, and the "limited market" is open Monday and Tuesday. In December, they are also open on Sundays (until Christmas Eve). For their opening times, click here

The nearest underground station is London Bridge which is on the Northern and Jubilee lines. The station is across the street and is less than a 5 minutes walk to the market. 

While we saw tons of cute dogs around London, Borough Market is a dog-free zone (except for service and guide dogs). 

Most importantly, arrive at the market with an empty stomach! 



Have you been to Borough Market? What did you get to eat there?

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March 8, 2017
Up Next, Italy!

Up Next, Italy!

March 8, 2017

If you had asked me a month ago if going to London for a week and then two weeks later, go to Italy for a week and a half would be a great idea, I would say "Hell yeah!" Fast forward to today and while I am still super excited about our upcoming trip to Italy, I will probably not book two European trips that close together again. I felt like I just unpacked so I could do laundry and then repacked everything again. 

I booked our Italy trip first, it's our Spring Break trip but a few weeks after booking Italy, I saw really cheap flights to London and thought "Why not?" With that said, we are leaving for Italy this week!

This will be my son's first time to Europe, and Lyndon's and my first time to Italy! We are super excited for all the art, pasta, gelato, and everything Italy has to offer. Since none of us have been to Italy before, please send us your recommendations! Your favorite restaurant, a must see exhibit or museum, a cool neighborhood to check out... anything will help.  

So where are we going in Italy? Here is our Spring Break itinerary.

MILAN  

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To be honest, out of all the cities we are visiting, I really don't know much about Milan. I know it's home to the famous Galleria and picturesque Duomo but that's about it. Oh, I did score tickets to see Leonardo da Vinci's The Last Supper though. I read that tickets to see The Last Supper sell out super fast so I set an alarm on my calendar so I could snatch some the first day they went on sale for March. When I went to purchase the tickets, only 2 time slots were left! They do sell out fast! Thank you Katy from Untold Morsels for emailing a bunch of fun restaurants to try while in Milan!  

LAKE COMO DAY TRIP

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Lake Como is super close to Milan and has been on my bucket list forever so adding this to our itinerary was a  no-brainer for us. I know March is still consider "winter" for a lot of European countries so I'm hoping not everything is closed while we are there. 

VENICE

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I can't believe I am just now going to Venice cause it has been on my bucket list every longer! Out of all the cities we are heading to, my son is most excited about Venice. I get it, he's 11 and museums and art aren't really high on his priority list. Plus, Venice is such an iconic city!    

BURANO DAY TRIP

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Thank you bloggers for putting Burano on my radar. I first read about Burano a couple of years ago on Casey's blog We Took The Road Less Traveled. All the bright colors immediately drew me in. I seriously can't wait to max out my memory card there! 

FLORENCE

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When I mention to people that we are going to Italy, especially Florence, the majority of the time I get the same response... "Florence is my favorite city!". I'm excited to see the city that so many people fell in love with, and hopefully fall in love with it myself.

So there it is! So many beautiful cities, so little time! With that being said, I won't be posting on a new post until after I get back from our trip. But feel free to follow along on Instagram (@christinekeane)! I will be posting pictures and adding videos to "my story" as well. Have a great Wanderful Wednesday! Arrivederci!  

What's your favorite Italian city?    

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March 1, 2017
Changing of the Guard | Buckingham Palace

Changing of the Guard | Buckingham Palace

March 1, 2017

For my 26th 36th birthday, I decided to celebrate it in one of my favorite cities in the world, London. While it wasn't my first time in this beautiful city, it was Lyndon's so we had to hit up all the tourist stops which included Buckingham Palace and watching the Changing of the Guard.

The official start time for the Changing of the Guard ceremony is 11:00 AM at Buckingham Palace. If you would like to get a decent view for the event, I recommend getting to the palace at least 30 minutes early. I have been twice now, once in the summer and once in the winter, and both times have been packed. This is London we are talking about, is there such a thing as "off peak"? 

While most of the action happens inside the gates of Buckingham Palace, there is still plenty to see right in front. The Queen's Guard (old and new), the Household Calvary, and the band all march in the street between the palace and Victoria Memorial. 

For the best view (in my opinion), I would stand on the Victoria Memorial side, facing Buckingham Palace and if possible, find a spot where you can look inside the main center gate. Lyndon and I got to the palace almost an hour before showtime and we got the perfect spot. This way you can watch the parade and still get to see what is going on behind the gate. Another good spot is on the Buckingham Palace side right along the gate. From this spot, you will not be able to see a lot of the parade but you will get to see everything happening behind the gate (depending on your angle). 

The ceremony last about 45 minutes to an hour long, depending on how long the band plays for. You can obviously leave at any time you want but be careful cause they close a lot of roads during the ceremony and do not allow pedestrians to cross the street when the band is playing or when the Queen's Guard is marching. Lyndon and I got a good laugh at people trying to cross the street when they weren't supposed to, or stopping in the middle of the road to take pictures when they were allowed to cross. Police officers on horseback made sure everyone was in line and them yelling at all the people who can't follow directions made for pure entertainment.           


While the Changing of the Guard is super touristy and very crowded, I feel like everyone should see it at least once in their life (especially if you are in London). It's fun to watch a ceremony that is over 300 years old (it started at the Palace of Whitehall before it was burnt down in 1689). For reference, the United States White House was completed 216 years ago. If you are planning on being in London and want to see the ceremony, here are some details!   

WHEN: 

Before you go, check out this website for Changing of the Guard dates. They do not have the ceremony everyday. In March 2017, they have the ceremony every Sunday, Monday, Wednesday, and Friday of the month. The official ceremony starts at 11:00 AM on these days. 

WHERE:

The main show is at Buckingham Palace. There is also a ceremony at Windsor Castle if you make your way west to Windsor (beautiful town if you have the time). You can also see troop movement at St. James's Palace and Wellington Barracks starting at 10:30 AM on ceremony days.

NEAREST UNDERGROUND STATIONS:

Green Park - 8 minutes walk
St. James's Park - 9 minutes walk
Victoria - 10 minutes walk
Hyde Park Corner - 11 minutes walk 



Have you seen to the Changing of the Guard? What were your thoughts?

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